Missouri Western State University has received the Voter Friendly Campus Designation for 2021-2020. This designation was granted to 234 colleges and universities in the United States. This designation is valid for 2021 to December of 2022.
Student Affairs in Higher Education and Fair Election Center's Campus gave these designations to colleges who promote voting and encourage students to get involved with the democratic process.
Those who helped get this designation was student Jordan Miller, Dr. Edwin Taylor, who is the chair and associate professor of political science and Dr. Hannah Piechowski who is the associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students
“We were the team that was responsible for doing voter engagement, this year,” Dr. Piechowski said. “So as a result of doing voter engagement, this is one of the things that we were trying to achieve.”
In order for colleges and Universities to be eligible for the designation, they must go through a three-step program. Schools must have a written campus plan on how they plan on engaging with students voters in 2020. Schools also had to facilitate voter education and their engagement efforts on Campus.
“There's three qualifiers. You have to have developed a campus plan about how we will engage students for 2020. We had to facilitate voter education and engagement efforts,” Dr. Piechowski said. “Then the last thing was we had to do a final analysis of what we did, what changes we had to make, who was impacted, approximately how many students we registered, how many notaries we got established, all that kind of stuff.”
In the written campus plan schools must also provide evidence of student engagement and encouragement efforts. While also providing other factors.
“At the big football game watch party in the fall we hosted a lot of voter engagement activities such as pumpkin carvings, t-shirt giveaways, all that kind of stuff,” Dr. Piechowski said. “So in the campus plan the final analysis includes a budget, a calendar, all that kind of stuff, and then we get results based on that.”
Dr.Piechowski also explains why it's important to have this designation and the importance of voting engagement.
“I think, more than ever, democratic and civic engagement is very important, students care a lot about democratic and civic engagement right now with the presidential elections with everything that's happening in the country with the laws and policies that are being passed in the United States,“ Dr.Piechowski said. “So every time you as a student, every time I, as a citizen have the opportunity to vote, we're changing the country for ourselves and for our children.”
Sui Hnin is a student here at Missouri Western who is majoring in engineering and gave his opinions on voting and on voter friendly campuses.
“It helps to determine what is a good presidency,” said Hnin “it also helps to get everyone involved.”